By Cristina Paolozzi, October 11 2019—
Stepping foot into The Den, I had one mission in mind — all-you-can-eat nuggets. Monday’s are a soft-spot for me. I was excited and determined to eat my weight in nugs as well as — oh yeah — enjoy a healthy and moderated debate on the current state of Canadian politics. Good. Everything was set from the large projection screen, to the bustling crowd swarming in. It promised to be a fruitful night concerning the environment, the economy, Indigenous issues and immigration. With nuggets in hand, I was ready for anything.
Or so I thought. As the federal leaders argued with one another about scandals, balanced budgets and whether or not there was a legitimate climate crisis afoot, I tried to write down the most memorable moments for me:
- Scheer’s intro is full of what Trudeau isn’t and not enough on the Conservative platform.
- Bernier interjects a lot.
- Trudeau ooped with Bill 21.
I stopped keeping track of the debate on paper, but kept listening, the nuggets consoling me through the two hour debate. I wasn’t proud of the data I had collected, and as I sit writing this, I wish past Cristina had enough resolve to remember to write stuff down. That said, there were still some take aways from the night.
The debate format was apparently confusing for some individuals, as they felt it did not accommodate the six different party leaders, or give any of them enough time to dive into their specific platform points. Many Canadians took to Twitter to highlight their frustration citing that the limited amount of time given to each candidate did not provide substance to their speech, making it more difficult to know where these leaders stand on certain issues. I do agree this debate format could have been more organized. There were short but strict time limits kept, however arguments were allowed to keep going to the point where many candidates were talking over each other and were difficult to understand.
I did appreciate, however, the shots being fired from all the candidates. It seemed that no matter how the debate went for each individual candidate, they were all able to say at least one spicy and somewhat controversial thing about their opponents. My favourite moment from the debate has to be when Jagmeet Singh, leader of the NDP, stated “you don’t have to choose between Mr. Delay and Mr. Deny,” referring to Justin Trudeau and Andrew Scheer’s climate change strategies. I know we all want to witness some critical last-word moment, and regardless of political affiliation, that was incredible. However, moving back to the format of the debate, these shorter time limits enacted on the candidates allowed for these soundbites to keep coming. And while they were entertaining as heck, I was still left wanting to hear more from many of the candidates. If it is any consolation, keep scrolling Twitter and most if not all of the federal leaders are continuing to speak out about their policies and platforms, often responding to the candidates they probably wish they had more time with.
All in all, this debate proved Canadians are still divided on many important issues. I don’t think I really have an overall feeling or sentiment towards what was said, except that it was exciting, messy and a little confusing.
As my stomach became more full and the leftover fries in the basket became cold, the leader’s debate ended. I was disappointed that there was no opportunity to provide candidates with enough time for closing statements, but alas, time waits for no one. If there is one thing I know for certain after watching the debate, it’s that I really don’t know what’s about to happen on Oct. 21, and that it is crucial that you go to a polling station and vote. I know you’ve also probably heard people tell you this in some capacity, and that maybe you’re annoyed I’m telling you this again, or maybe you’re confused about who to vote for or maybe you’re not confused, it really doesn’t matter. The point is, the right to vote is a privilege people take for granted and now more than ever it is important we don’t forget that.
Advanced polls are open on campus in Hotel Alma from Oct. 7—9 from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. and Election Day takes place on Oct. 2.
This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet‘s editorial board.